Dustin Higgs Set To Be Final Inmate Executed During Donald Trump's Presidency
Dustin Higgs is set to be executed today (Friday 15 January), making him the last inmate to receive the death sentence under Donald Trump's presidency.
It will be the 13th execution since Trump's administration resumed federal executions in July, making him the most prolific execution president in more than a century.
Higgs was sentenced to death in 2000 for the 1996 pre-meditated murder and kidnap of Tanji Jackson, Tamika Black and Mishann Chinn. However, Higgs did not actually kill the victims, with shooter Willis Haynes sentenced to life in prison.
His lawyers have pled with Trump to commute his sentence to life in prison, arguing it is 'arbitrary and inequitable to punish Mr. Higgs more severely than the actual killer'.
Since his presidential election defeat, Trump has flouted the custom of ceasing executions during a political transition, making him the first lame-duck president to carry out federal executions in more than a century.
Yesterday (Thursday), Corey Johnson was executed after a long legal battle.
Jonson was convicted of killing seven people in connection with a drug-trafficking ring in 1992.
He was executed by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, after the Supreme Court denied a last gasp effort to overturn the execution on the grounds of the 52-year-old's Covid-19 diagnosis and intellectual disability.
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In his final statement, Johnson said: "I would have said I was sorry before, but I didn't know how. I hope you will find peace.
"To my family, I have always loved you, and your love has made me real. On the streets, I was looking for shortcuts, I had some good role models, I was side tracking, I was blind and stupid.
"I am not the same man that I was."
He added that his last meal of pizza and a strawberry milkshake was 'wonderful', though he said he didn't get the jelly-filled donuts that he ordered.
Donald Salzman, an attorney for Johnson, said earlier in the day that there was 'no principled reason' to execute him.
According to CNN, Salzman said: "The government must stop trying to execute Corey Johnson while he is still recovering from the Covid-19 infection he contracted as a result of the government's own irresponsibility in carrying out executions during the pandemic.
"There is no principled reason not to wait until the injunction expires in March to assess whether Mr Johnson's lungs have healed sufficiently that he will not suffer excruciating pain during an execution.
"He is a person with intellectual disability who cannot constitutionally be executed.
"The government should withdraw Corey's execution date, or President Trump should grant him clemency."
It comes after the only woman on death row in the US, Lisa Montgomery, was executed on Wednesday (13 January).
Featured Image Credit: savedustinhiggs.com
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